Friday, June 3, 2011

The Inside Totem pole

In many indigenous cultures throughout  North America  it's believed they used totem poles to communicate a wide variety of messages. The Wikipedia entry on Totem poles states:

"The meanings of the designs on totem poles are as varied as the cultures that make them. Totem poles may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events."

I humbly submit that there is a totem pole in every families kitchen. It looks something like this :

That's right , your fridge. The humble refrigerator. 

First commercially available in 1915 and well established  by 1930 with almost 60% of American households having one to replace their old  "icebox". I'm here to tell you that your fridge is no longer just for housing leftovers of indeterminable age.

If your family is anything like ours each week we have around 20 events for that week that need to be accounted for and planned logistically. This doesn't include school and work ! (They just happen.)

And as most of you  know my wife is a organisational genius, so each Sunday there is a quick planning session where all information added to the desk planner (month at a glance) during the week by family members is added to the master plan for that week which is then posted on the fridge. Shopping lists and chores have their own permanent spot .

And it's not just "what's on" that's posted on its shiny metal surface, art,  achievements and even photos are put up and we always celebrate the wins and the milestones. 

So I say to you that, without realising it all of us have created our own totem pole and continue the practice of passing on important events and notifications.

With all the different activities in diferent places, meal creation becomes a challenge as there is usually precious little time to make them. Planning the meals for the week has helped immensely, ( both from a budget and nutritional perspective) I can tell you Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals is a life saver, good food, prepared inside 30 minutes allows us to continue our dinner time. Other helpful sites are Donna Hay, and the good old Women's Weekly. 

Again the totem pole is used to publish what will be available and what the people getting home first will have to do to get it to the table.

So post up your own totem pole and lets celebrate families and communication ! 

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